Jury Hung on Murder Charge
Jury Hung on Murder charge, not guilty of attempted murder
CROWN POINT | Jurors deadlocked Friday on a murder charge against a Gary man and acquitted him of two other felony charges, a defense attorney said.
Jory Peters, 27, had been charged with murder, attempted murder and attempted battery in the slaying last year of Juan Nieves.
It had not been determined Friday night whether prosecutors will seek to retry Peters on the murder charge, defense attorney Scott King said. A status hearing was scheduled in about two weeks, King said.
The Lake Criminal Court jury spend about eight hours deliberating in Peters' case.
Prosecutors in their closing statements earlier Friday had sought to convince the jurors that Peters killed another Gary man after a failed attempt a week earlier.
Witnesses told police Peters and another man followed Nieves in their car Aug. 7 in the area of 25th Avenue and Broadway in Gary before firing at Nieves' vehicle.
Seven days later, on Aug. 14, Nieves was found shot at 25th Avenue and Washington and later died of his wounds.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Angela Mattozi alleged the killing was one of revenge.
King said in his closing statements that the evidence shows Peters was not the aggressor, saying a wound in Nieves' upraised arm indicated he had been holding a gun.
King said it was Nieves who was the aggressor in both incidents, with Peters acting in self-defense.
King faulted police for not pursuing video of the Aug. 7 incident and said a witness was lying. King argued the witness removed Nieves' gun from his vehicle after the shooting.
Story by: Susan Brown of The Times email@example.com (219) 662-5325